How do I overcome riding anxiety?
Courage isn't the absence of fear; it's the ability to act in spite of it. Yet, for many, the journey toward courage is riddled with obstacles and doubts that can feel insurmountable. Whether it's the nagging voice of self-doubt, the excuses that we make up not to ride, or the relentless pursuit of being perfect, these hurdles can dim the light of bravery within us. However, with mindful awareness and intentional action, it's possible to navigate through these challenges and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

Self-doubt often whispers (or yells) destructive thoughts that undermine our confidence and capabilities. It's the voice that tells us we're not good enough, smart enough, or we're going to get hurt or worse. To combat self-doubt, it's crucial to challenge these negative beliefs with evidence of past successes and affirmations of our strengths and talents.  We are good riders. By reframing our self-talk and acknowledging our strengths and achievements, we can gradually dismantle the barriers erected by self-doubt and step into our power with confidence.

The first step is to write down, the whispers that you hear all the time.  The ones that have you making up excuses.  Once you have a list - write down the good thoughts that it could be.

Here are a few:  I might get hurt = I might enjoy my ride; I might fall off = I am a good rider; My horse might buck/rear/bolt = I am now prepared to know when my horse is ready to ride.  Practice the ones on the right, as often as you can until they become the primary whispers.

Second step is to look back at all the wonderful rides you have had.  Soak those up.  Spend time in those memories.  If a negative memory pops in, say "thank you" and let it go.  Picture setting it free to float off on it's own until it gets smaller and smaller and is out of sight.  Then think of 10 more wonderful rides to replace that one memory.  Spend time in the memories of wonderful rides.

In essence, overcoming obstacles and doubts on the path to courage requires a combination of self-awareness, self-compassion, and intentional action. By challenging negative beliefs, reframing failure, and embracing vulnerability, we can unleash our inner courage and navigate challenges with resilience and grace. So, let us embark on this journey to enjoy riding our horses together and let courage fill us up!


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